Mobile technology is becoming an increasingly important area of opportunity for retailers to transform their business and succeed.
For most retail leaders, the goals of implementing mobile technology are twofold:
- Maintain a competitive edge, both as a trusted brand and as an employer
- Increase revenue through streamlined sales process
A recent survey conducted by Jamf, an Apple enterprise management software provider, dives into the deployment of mobile devices and technology in the retail workspace. In it, we find that 99% of respondents (all retail IT decision-makers) have implemented mobile tech in stores, and all plan to continue to implement even more across POS, employee shared devices, inventory management, and connecting their physical stores to e-commerce platforms.
What this survey doesn't cover is the software solutions used across these devices. And while those may differ between headquarters and storefronts, certain cloud-based solutions that impact the whole enterprise can help organizations achieve consistency in performance despite diversity of hardware in play.
Cohesion Across Different Devices
According to the Jamf survey, nearly half of retailers issue devices from more than one tech brand across their enterprise (for example, a mix of Apple, Microsoft and HP). These devices may be central to inventory management by employees, or possibly even used throughout stores to elevate the customer experience. And with each variation, IT professionals are faced with new challenges in maintaining consistent and reliable device performance.
Another key advantage of cloud-based platforms is automatic update deployment. Rather than tasking already busy IT departments with implementing the latest updates to software manually or in waves, the software improvements are centralized by software providers and get deployed across entire networks at the same time. This means no end users (employees or managers) become disadvantaged by outdated platform performance. A cloud-based workforce management solution puts the latest improvements into play across entire enterprises in a snap.
Greater Accessibility for Employees
Not only do cloud-based solutions allow for workforce and productivity solutions to be used consistently across an enterprise's many devices — it offers retailers the opportunity to let employees access trusted features from their personal devices remotely, if allowed. This means employees can access important scheduling modules, benefits management, and accruals when and where makes the most sense for them, instead of confining access to onsite or during hours when their primary goal might be more productive tasks, like managing inventory or helping to serve customers better.
For more on the relationship between customer experience and employee empowerment through workforce management, check out our earlier post here.